Last night I received the following in my inbox.
Too bad that your considerable physical "prowess" doesn't extend to cerebral. Think of it as a story problem in math. If 56 sts = 8" sock, how many sts = 10" or whatever girth your feet measure? Then bump the other #s of sts by the same percentage when it comes time to shape the heel. The length can bedone by measurement.
I understand that there is a good, basic book by Ann Budd/Interweave Press that details all kinds of basic knitting patts for sweaters, socks, etc, so that you can find your gauge and measurements on a gridded chart to get specific #s of sts. I don't know the exact title, but if you check Amazon or google for her name, you can probably find it.
Joan in Eugene, OR
PS - In the future you're much more likely to get good, helpful info if you drop the "cutsie-pie" stuff.
Dear Joan in Eugene,
Thank you for the thoughtful and detailed reply to my request for help despite my request being all cutsie-pie and whatnot. I suppose I just didn't yet understand the actual construction of socks and now that you have given me a more cerebral grasp of them I'm sure I can tackle any problems that arise. I'm made all the more confident as I am now armed with the your advice and a slide rule.
I pledge unto you, Joan in Eugene, that from this point forward I will make every attempt to be dour and curmudgeonly about knitting as is only right even though this is directly contrary to my personality. Knitting is not fun; it's totally serious. Like work or disease or war. Please be patient with me if I post to the KL* again in the near future as I will be struggling with the new knitting paradigm you have provided and I may slip. I am, as you know, just a boy.
Thank you again for your help. I will post photos of my finished socks as soon as they are done. Tonight I cast on my very first, very serious project on double pointed needles. I'm a little nervous about all those needles at once, but I know I can do it. Wish me luck, Joan in Eugene!
Completely Somber in New Jersey,
P.S. My local library had a copy of the Ann Budd book you recommended, The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, and it is very detailed and helpful. If I get addicted to sock knitting, as I expect I may, I'll undoubtedly have to buy my own copy. Thank you for the suggestion.